A Pakistani migrant is on trial in Italy for the unlawful imprisonment, sexual assault, and abuse of a German teenager he held captive in a farmhouse in Rome for nearly two years.
On Tuesday, an Italian court heard how the 39-year-old suspect, known as Yasir Imran, had been the manager of a stable at a riding school in the quaint town of Cesano, approximately 25 kilometers northwest of the Italian capital.
It is the prosecution’s case that he and a compatriot, 29-year-old Ali Roze, held captive a 17-year-old German girl, whose identity is being protected, after she left home with him and headed to Italy back in September 2019.
Roze has already stood trial and was convicted of sexual violence, kidnapping, bodily injury, and aggravated mistreatment. Yasir is now facing similar charges and is accused of being complicit in the horrific ordeal of the German teenager.
According to the Il Giornale newspaper, the victim traveled to Italy with Roze who claimed to be her boyfriend. At his trial, the court heard how he had taken the German girl to the farmhouse in the Italian countryside where they met Yasir who is understood to be a relative of Roze.
“I loved Roze, I hoped he would change. I followed him to Rome because we were happy, even if sometimes he had abusive behavior already in Germany,” the victim told the Italian authorities as cited by Corriere Roma.
Once at the riding school, the German teen was ordered not to go outside without either of the two men. She had her identity documents confiscated and her cell phone destroyed, and when she managed to acquire a new cell phone, she was imprisoned at the facility where she was subsequently abused for nearly two years by the duo and subjected to horrific violence.
She was sexually assaulted repeatedly, punched in the stomach, and subjected to death threats; injuries showed her captors had also used her as an ashtray, putting out cigarettes on her bare skin.
The ordeal finally came to an end on May 27, 2021, when the girl was taken out in public by the pair and a passing motorist suspected she was not with the men voluntarily and intervened.
In his testimony at Yasir’s trial, the witness recounted how he “was in the car and saw two men pulling her by the arms. I immediately called 112. Then I went back and asked her if everything was okay.”
“She looked terrified, but she didn’t answer. One of the two said he was her husband. I didn’t believe him and offered the girl a lift: She got into the car and thanked me in English. Then I accompanied her to the police,” he told the court.
Other employees of the farmhouse were called to give evidence at the trial and proclaimed to be unaware of the girl’s captivity, prompting the prosecution to question the extent to which other employees were complicit in the violence or if they were genuinely ignorant of the horror unfolding on the premises.
The trial is ongoing.